Do you still remember when you were a baby? Bumping in the bed, making noise, crying, skecthing the unknown pictures in your clothes? Making trouble with your parents?
There were lot of fun and great experiences when we were a baby. The first period of our life was a baby. And it will be our moment to know the world. To learn the real life, and to learn how to life, how to survive and how to be a good person.
Not about how to life, but also how to speak, when you life in the small country using the local spoken language, maybe the first time you hear the sound of human language is your local spoken language. Lucky you if you were born in English spoken country, because your ears has been trained using English as your first language in the world.
But, if you were not born in the English spoken country, maybe your local spoken language is the most easy to be understood. I was born in Jogjakarta, a city in the central java island in Indonesia. My first spoken language is Javanese. So Javanese is my first language in the world.
Then, because of my national language is Indonesian, I learn Indonesian in my first grade of elementary school. Altough it is not my first spoken language, but in Indonesia, Indonesian language is commonly spoken in all area over the country. So my ears, and my mouth adapted to that language and I can easyly learn Indonesian language. Altough just spoken not grammaticaly.
In first grade of my Junior High School, English as foreign language was introduced by my teachers. This language is not my spoken language. And because of Indonesia is not English spoken country, when I still was in Junior High School, i had problem with my english. Especially in listening and speaking. I have no friends with english daily spoken language. And also my school just teached the English language course twice a week.
But, there are many English language course out of school. I attended my first English language course in ELTI Gramedia in Jogjakarta. But it is very very simple and basic. The course teacher just teached me with full of books and bunch of test everyday It was too hard for me.
Now, after I was graduated from my college and earn some money in capital city of Jakarta, I have more English circumstance. But it is not formal lesson, is is fun and casual lesson. From attending the English Eucharist in St. Theresia Church in Sarinah, until being a watcher of BBC World News everyday from livestation.com
My point of this article is not about a part of my life learning english, but the small method of learning english as foreign language. I have found from some forums about how to easly learning english without formal course. And in the Internet era, this is not hard to practice. The small method I called ” A baby method”.
As a baby, our first abilities are watching, crying, and listening to others. So, also in our English learning, our first path is to listen first. Our ears is a beautiful tool in the world. God has been created us with ears that can differ some sounds each other, also recognize the patern of sounds.
The listening proccess is natural. And it will be fun if you can combine with fun games, or fun movie and news. So, my daily activities after office hour is watching news from BBC, Al Jazeera or RT News. It will make my ears comfortly hear English spoken language.
Listening not only helps you understand what people are saying to you. It also helps you to speak clearly to other people. It helps you learn how to pronounce words properly, how to use intonation, and where to place stress in words and sentences. This makes your speech easier for other people listening to you to understand!
Then the second step of a baby method is speaking. Like a baby, after we listen to some sounds or songs, we can imitate that by our self. It is the basic of speaking learning. Repeat and imitate the source. But it will be more easy if you have friends or relatives who can help you to make some conversation. My effort is attending the English Eucharist in St. Theresia and become an ushers. I can speak to others who attend the Mass and offer some helps to them.
The most help step in your baby method is reading. When you can listen, and repeat the source, you can go to the sources personaly by read that sources. Here in the reading step, you eyes, your imagination and your brain will be boosted up with full of vocabulary and grammar. Altough not a formal course, the daily routine of this method can help us to recognize the patern of grammar. Our brain is brillian isn’t it? It can memorize the paterns and recognize that if we always train our brain to use it. Reading from newspaper, from comics, from novels and also from Internet everytimes makes us more fluent and easy to use english correctly.
The last step is writing. Like a baby, they cannot write something that they don’t recognize first. It’s true right? When the vocabulary from listening and reading is more enough, we can write them down in our notes. It is more easy to write something that we have already known before. The baby method is maybe different from the formal English course, but the basic Language learning is always same as baby learning. Listen first, repeat and imitate it, read it a lot, and write it down to our notes.
I know, many of us just pursue the high scores of TOELF or IELTS, it is ok. But the main purpose of language learning is to know and to make that language usefull to you. The parameters of high scores is not enough without abilites to use the language in our life. So, this is the Baby Method, the simple ways to learn a new language as a baby. We have a baby experiences, and it can help us to learn new things based on a baby proccess, a natural procces.
Here it is a simple quotes I’d like to share to you from anonymous source:
God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we can hear twice as much as we say.
I hope, it is usefull to you.
B. Widi Handoyo